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Burning in hi-pass capacitors

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  • Bryan K.

    Midwest Audio Club

    Speedster | | The Wildeman | Sean's NLA Towers | , COUGAR II and | Triton | Lithium | J-Boom | Trym MLTL | Docere MLTL

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    • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

      .....Now I'm hooked on crossover mods, and I want to invest in a woodshop so I can start cranking out DIY speakers. What have I done??[/QUOTE]


      Ahh yes, we have another one. Welcome to the club. This hobby is addictive. Robert.

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      • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

        Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
        Sadly I do not have them - I chucked 'em a few months ago. I did measure the other NPE that is in the XO (in the woofer shunt position) - It's rated 9.1uF and measured 9.7uF. The tweeter NPE cap was the same crappy brand.

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        • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

          I wish I still had the original tweeter caps, but I don't and I'm not gonna obsess about it. Here's the story in a nutshell and why I'm even bothering doing this burn-in test:

          1. Bought Polk Monitor-40's for my workstation for $100 on ebay from Polk Direct. I like them...think they are a great value at that price point.
          2. Read about inferior crossovers in low end Polk speakers, so I took a look at the ones in mine and sure enough, they were pretty crappy.
          3. Figured I'd replace the tweeter cap with something really good (Jantzens) to see if it made a difference - it did. The difference was obvious and immediate. Larger sound stage and more dynamic vocals but not as bright or silky as the original (the original NPE with bypass was very bright but a bit harsh). HOWEVER, about 30 hours later, I started to notice a difference which seemed to evolve between 30-60 hours of use. High-end silkiness came back, but the harshness of the original cap is gone. Things like string plucks, hi-hats, cymbals, and snares seemed to be more present. This got me wanting to rebuild the WHOLE crossover with better components to see what sort of difference it would yield.
          4. Read a lot about different caps on several DIY sites, etc., and thought it would be fun to buy a few extras to swap in and out of an external crossover just for fun.
          5. Got mixed up in debates about the "burn-in" factor, the placebo effect, etc. So I decided to do a test of my new caps to see if burn-in is actually audible. Best way to do it is via DBT as suggested by many here, and so it goes.

          I DO think my cheapo Polks sound better with the Jantzen caps but really that doesn't matter as the test I'm going to do is focused on whether one can tell the difference between a burned in cap and a brand spanking new one of the exact same rating and manufacturer.

          After that "burn-in" test, I might do more tests across the different cap brands and document it, but it wasn't my original reason for starting this thread.
          Bryan K.

          Midwest Audio Club

          Speedster | | The Wildeman | Sean's NLA Towers | , COUGAR II and | Triton | Lithium | J-Boom | Trym MLTL | Docere MLTL

          Comment


          • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

            Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
            I wish I still had the original tweeter caps, but I don't and I'm not gonna obsess about it.
            2. Read about inferior crossovers in low end Polk speakers, so I took a look at the ones in mine and sure enough, they were pretty crappy.
            You judge them crappy, but what's that based upon? The fact that when you replaced them there was an improvement? But that improvement could be due to only a change in the capacitance. I'm not saying you were wrong or you were right. You very well could be right. I'm just saying that you're reaching a conclusion and that you owe it to yourself to consider the evidence you're using to reach that conclusion. Don't obsess about it, but just consider it.

            3. Figured I'd replace the tweeter cap with something really good (Jantzens) to see if it made a difference - it did.
            Again, with the judgement. Jantzens are "really good". What's that based on? The higher price? Other people's opinions? The improvement you heard (which may be due to a change in capacitance).

            Look, I don't have the answers. But I have learned two things. One, that we humans have to be careful about drawing conclusions from our observations. The history of science is full of examples of seemingly obvious, yet entirely wrong, conclusions being drawn from evidence. I can't stress this enough. There are lots of examples of consensus among experts and everyone else, sometimes lasting for decades or even centuries, that were later shown to be entirely wrong.

            The other is that I,being human, have to refer to experts. There are a lot of them out there and they sometimes agree on something (which doesn't necessarily mean they're right) and they sometimes don't.

            There is no consensus among the experts that expensive caps make a difference in the way a speaker sounds. Some say it does, but many say it doesn't.

            I get your point. You want to test only for a burn-in effect. That's great, but please don't, along the way, assume that more expensive caps sound better. If you want to reach that conclusion, you owe it to yourself to make sure you've done it based on conclusions drawn from observations, not assumptions

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            • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

              Originally posted by Herman Trivilino View Post
              I get your point. You want to test only for a burn-in effect. That's great, but please don't, along the way, assume that more expensive caps sound better. If you want to reach that conclusion, you owe it to yourself to make sure you've done it based on conclusions drawn from observations, not assumptions
              I hear you loud and clear. For me, it's not a question of $$$ -- it doesn't bias my judgement. After all, I'm working with budget speakers to begin with that I think sound great despite their low price point. I AM trying to make them sound better because I think Polk skimped on the XO's. However, I'd be happy as a pig in $hit if the Dayton caps end up sounding the best when all is said and done. I will gladly leave them in the permanent XO's. I fully understand that synergies come into play with crossovers and speaker components. No worries there. I will be approaching this whole test with a very open mind, and will happily document the results - starting next weekend. :D

              I appreciate your feedback....I'm learning a lot along the way. This is a great forum.
              Bryan K.

              Midwest Audio Club

              Speedster | | The Wildeman | Sean's NLA Towers | , COUGAR II and | Triton | Lithium | J-Boom | Trym MLTL | Docere MLTL

              Comment


              • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                I am going throw something in here.
                A friend of mine works in the lab and has an access to $$$$$$ test equipment.
                Sure enough he is an audiophile or I should say he likes Hi fidelity sound reproduction. He run a multitude of tests on different capacitors. Dissipation factors, tangent angle... don't ask, he is a PHD in physics and I don't care enough to ask either. So, he found that Jansen is actually a worst performing capacitor among the bunch and most similar to NPE cap. Now, having said that, none of tests show differences in the usable range for loudspeaker crossovers. :D
                http://www.diy-ny.com/

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                • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                  Originally posted by r-carpenter View Post
                  don't ask, he is a PHD in physics and I don't care enough to ask either. So, he found that Jansen is actually a worst performing capacitor among the bunch and most similar to NPE cap.
                  Umm, Jensen maybe? Or are you saying Jantzen? Both have pretty good reputations for quality capacitors. I have read that the Jantzen crosscaps are not very good. I am extremely happy with the Jantzen Superior Z line.

                  Everyone has an opinion. As we continue to discuss this, it really makes me curious to see what happens with the tests. Wish I had more time on my hands to get things rolling right away, but for sure we will get rocking on this next weekend.
                  Bryan K.

                  Midwest Audio Club

                  Speedster | | The Wildeman | Sean's NLA Towers | , COUGAR II and | Triton | Lithium | J-Boom | Trym MLTL | Docere MLTL

                  Comment


                  • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                    yep these guys http://www.parts-express.com/mfg/jan...cfm#capacitors
                    I misspelled.
                    Opinions are just that... opinions.
                    http://www.diy-ny.com/

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                    • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                      Which model, Roman? It does make a difference.

                      I know what I hear!!

                      Later,
                      Wolf
                      "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                      "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                      "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                      "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                      *InDIYana event website*

                      Photobucket pages:
                      https://app.photobucket.com/u/wolf_teeth_speaker

                      My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

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                      • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                        Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                        Which model, Roman? It does make a difference.

                        I know what I hear!!

                        Later,
                        Wolf
                        Yeah, don't we all:rolleyes: hear the difference.
                        Sorry man, just had to rub it in.

                        Anyhow, can't remember if he was testing Z-Standard or Crosscap capacitors.
                        Compared them to Mundorf, and some other stuff. I had too little interest in this aspect to ask, at the time. I can ask again if he kept the data.
                        http://www.diy-ny.com/

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                        • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                          I've always said cross caps are awful.

                          Roman, you should have him test those MR's.
                          "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                          http://www.diy-ny.com/

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                          • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                            Originally posted by Face View Post
                            I've always said cross caps are awful.
                            I purchased 14 CrossCaps for a recent 7 channel build. 7 of one value, 7 of another. Of the 14, two measured more than 10% out of spec, and one was DOA! So apparently these are batch tested rather than individually tested before shipping out. I've never had a DOA cap before...

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                            • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                              I don't know what the standard QC procedures are for passive electronic components, but I suspect SPC is used with its attendant sampling inspection plans rather than 100% testing of all parameters on all production. Appropriate SPC will ensure "most" of the time that "most" of the items produced will be good and meet specs. If 100% of the items have to be tested for 100% of their parameters to ensure acceptable quality, something's wrong with materials and/or processes.
                              Paul

                              Originally posted by LSV8 View Post
                              I purchased 14 CrossCaps for a recent 7 channel build. 7 of one value, 7 of another. Of the 14, two measured more than 10% out of spec, and one was DOA! So apparently these are batch tested rather than individually tested before shipping out. I've never had a DOA cap before...

                              Comment


                              • Re: Burning in hi-pass capacitors

                                Originally posted by Paul K. View Post
                                I don't know what the standard QC procedures are for passive electronic components, but I suspect SPC is used with its attendant sampling inspection plans rather than 100% testing of all parameters on all production. Appropriate SPC will ensure "most" of the time that "most" of the items produced will be good and meet specs. If 100% of the items have to be tested for 100% of their parameters to ensure acceptable quality, something's wrong with materials and/or processes.
                                Paul
                                I absolutely agree. Though statistical process analysis wasn't my favorite ME course... I understand the application. haha.

                                What I meant by that statement is although we might get the feeling of "hand made", attention to detail, quality goodness in boutique caps... they are no different from any other mass produced electrical component.

                                I sure hope "dead" is WELL under the LCL! :D

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